The email, which was leaked to the BBC, asks teams to push a sweeping range of cuts at a "global and regional level", and imposes a higher level of spending authorisation across the entire business.
Technology spending is top of the list of cuts. "Freeze on hardware and software spend to be implemented for the remainder of the year," the email says. "Direct approval rights [are to] to be withdrawn from cost centre users. All hardware and software spend must contain the approval of the relevant ExCo member and Regional CFO so that it can be considered on an exceptional basis."
Spending on global programmes, the email says, will be considered on a weekly basis by a committee consisting of Stephen Norman, Alexis Tobin and David Shalders, the company’s CIO, chief administrative officer and COO respectively.
The bank is also forcing contractors to take a two week holiday over Christmas. "All contractors and technical specialists to take a mandatory two week vacation from 19 to 30 December 2011," the memo says.
No new training, telecoms, newspaper subscriptions, or entertainment are to be bought for the rest of the year. According to the memo, the spending cuts are due to "current need to further tighten and minimise the rate of spend on non-staff costs". The changes have come into affect immediately.
RBS is also set to cut up to 5,000 jobs, according to reports, with up to 1,000 UK jobs threatened. The bank is 83% owned by the UK public.